My Disney Princess Half Marathon 2014 Weekend!

I had a blast at the Princess Half race weekend! I don’t have a lot of pictures yet (only what I took with my camera phone), but I can tell you all about my weekend!

This is kind of a long post — just an advanced warning : )

Friday after work Adam and I drove up to Disney. We stayed at Disney’s All Star Sports resort… normally, when we go to Disney we stay at Port Orleans, but I guess because it was race weekend the hotel prices were all really high, so we opted for one of Disney’s “budget” resorts.

dasp

The benefit of staying on Disney property is that you can take their transportation on race morning to the start…. this is important since they close a lot of the roads down for the race.

Our room was basic, but of course it came with a greeting from Mickey:

mick

I got a couple hours of sleep on Friday night, but was up early on Saturday to meet my friend at packet pickup and the expo right when it opened!

pp

The lighting in the expo was pretty low, so please excuse the bad quality of the photo. Bre took some more pictures with her good camera so hopefully I’ll see those soon!

expo

I didn’t buy anything at the expo, but my friend’s husband and daughter got matching shirts. His says “My favorite Disney princess is my wife” and hers says “My favorite Disney princess is my mom.” How cute is that! (They ran out of shirts in size L for him hence the extra tight look haha).

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Saw this in the bathroom : )

sign

After the expo I accidentally took a nap, which was a killer because I wasn’t tired at all when my bedtime of 8:30pm came around.

I ended up falling asleep around 11:30pm and had a 2am wakeup call… ouch. Surprisingly when the alarm went off I didn’t feel too bad, I guess I had that race day adrenaline flowing!

That adrenaline carried me pretty much through mile four. At about mile 4.5 I decided it was time to start listening to music to pump me up, but realized that my earbuds somehow broke. Bummer.

I was a little deflated about that until about mile 5.5 when I finally made the turn onto Main Street and saw the castle in front of me! I’m not nearly as much of a Disney fan as most people that were in this race, but I admit I got really excited here!

I gave a great big cheesy smile to the photographer in the castle so I am excited to see that photo once its posted.

After turning out of Magic Kingdom at around the 10K mark I hit a low point until about mile 8.

I was feeling okay physically, but just kind of mentally out of it and bored. I texted my friends who had started in a later corral to see where they were, but they were too far back for me to stop and wait, so I ended up taking advantage of a couple of photo opportunities.

I didn’t really feel too bad about stopping because PRing at a Disney race would be hard. If you’re in Corral A it might work out, but I started right in the middle in Corral I and hit a lot of bottle necks and was stuck behind groups of walkers a lot. It wasn’t too bad at all in the beginning, but I would say after mile 7 and 8 a lot of people around me were walking pretty slow.

Surprisingly it was around mile 8 that I got a second wind and ended up running a couple miles at a cruising pace… until I hit the dreaded bridges.

Throwing three bridges into the last couple of miles of a half marathon — one right after the other — is just cruel.

I have decided that I HAVE to start running the bridges on my normal running route. Usually they are the only part of my route that I allow myself to walk… but no more! I will start running them!

After the last bridge you run right into Epcot which is where the finish line is located. I got a third wind here … and also emotional.ย I have pretty much been thinking about this race since I started seriously running!

When I crossed the finish line I simultaneously thought three things:

  • I DID IT! I am a 2x half marathoner!
  • I can’t wait to eat breakfast
  • How many months until Portland? (the full marathon I’m signed up for)

I also looked at my Garmin and it read that I had run over 13.8 miles … my friend’s app said that she ran over 13.5 miles, so I think that the course was a little bit long. That means it was my longest run ever : )

This wasn’t a PR race by any means and there were a couple of low points, but overall it was A LOT more fun than my first half. I told my coach that I finished strong, but really that’s probably because I took a lot of breaks, hah. Oh well!

My official time was almost 3 1/2 hours … oops!

There will be other half marathons that I’ll take much more seriously…. probably. I tend to have my best, PR-type runs on days when I least expect it, so maybe I’ll never run a PR race. Who knows!

Just a couple months ago I don’t think I could have ever imagined calling a half marathon fun, so that’s an accomplishment in itself!ย 

It’s hard to be mad about a race result when you’re at the happiest place on earth.

Oh, and I would be a terrible person if I didn’t mention how AWESOME the volunteers were. Every single volunteer I came across was so nice and enthusiastic! That was very much appreciated!

…More pictures to come soon!

Have you ever run a race just for fun?ย 

Do you like running with friends or alone?

13 comments

  1. Kyle

    Yay…I’m glad you had fun. Those bridges can be a pain but running through the parks is worth the pain! Those races are almost more about the atmosphere than the actual race. I love it!
    Kyle recently posted…Book Review & Giveaway: 102 Ways to Save Money for and at Walt Disney WorldMy Profile

  2. Amy

    Congrats! No worries about your time-it was a Disney race!
    Amy recently posted…Making Time for RunningMy Profile

  3. The Running Schlub

    Great race recap, you have to run these types of races to mix it up a bit. Plus how can you complain about completing a half marathon, that is huge no matter how many you have run. I have not run a race for fun but my Fiance and I are looking into one of those color runs or glow runs because it would be really nice to jog along not worrying about time. I run with my dog for training and prefer to run alone during races. But I would really like to find a group run for training, i think it would be cool.

    http://runningschlub.blogspot.com/
    The Running Schlub recently posted…What Was I Thinking??My Profile

  4. Lisa

    Congrats on finishing your 2nd half marathon. When does training for you first full start?

    Eventually I want to run a Disney race or one of those Disney challenges series. Seems very organized and like a blast. Can’t wait to see more pictures of this!
    Lisa recently posted…Miami Turkey Trot โ€“ November 28, 2013My Profile

    1. Kristina @ Blog About Running

      Thank you! ๐Ÿ™‚ Training starts on May 1st!

  5. Megan @ Meg Go Run

    WOO FOR FUN!!! You gotta run some races like that. I can’t wait to see your pics. I have never been to Disney so it’s hard for me to picture everything. One weird question, why was your wake up call so early? What time did the race start? PS. Your friend’s husband can wear that tight t-shirt allllllll day!
    Megan @ Meg Go Run recently posted…The ABCs of… ME!My Profile

  6. Karla @ Run, Karla, Run!

    Congratulations!! Don’t worry about your time. You stopped for photos, hit a few bottlenecks, it’s a Disney race. SO glad you had fun! And the course isn’t long. All these courses (and most major races) are USATF certified. The distances are accurate. Here’s why your Garmin will read long for most races you do: courses are measured by the shortest possible distance a runner can run, ie the tangents. So if you don’t run every tangent perfectly (not even all the pros do), then you’ll always run farther than 13.1 miles or 26.2 miles or whatever the race distance is. The longer the race, the further off you’re likely to be. Throw in weaving around runners, zig-zagging to get in photo lines, etc., and you probably really did run close to 13.8 miles even though the course itself is really 13.1. My watch clocked me at 13.26 miles at the WDW Half Marathon, which is the same course as Princess. Get better at running tangents and you’ll have faster times! Also, GPS watches aren’t 100% accurate. Hope that explains it!
    Karla @ Run, Karla, Run! recently posted…Avengers Super Heroes Half Marathon Comes To DisneyMy Profile

    1. Kristina @ Blog About Running

      Thanks, Karla! That makes a lot of sense. I was thinking at 13.8 even with tangents and Garmin issues it might have been a little long, but adding in the picture stops probably added the additional extra length. I didn’t consider those stops, but it makes sense!

  7. Jennifer @ The Final Forty

    CONGRATS! Great recap. I never, ever worry about my time for Disney races…even if you don’t stop for photos, it’s damn near impossible not to get trapped behind walkers/slower runners — the course is just too narrow. All that matters is you had fun, and it sounds like you did! There were parts of the course that were tough for me, too…let’s face it, once you’re out of Magic Kingdom, it can be all kinds of boring!
    Jennifer @ The Final Forty recently posted…Glass Slipper Challenge: I Did it!My Profile

  8. Karen

    Great job on the run! Not having music is a huge distraction, I think I would have cried lol Great job to hang on and just enjoy the experience. You are so right there will plenty of events to PR. I hope you got a great Princess shot at the Castle ๐Ÿ™‚
    Karen recently posted…March MadnessMy Profile

  9. Ali K. @ Hit the Ground Running

    Congrats on having such a great experience at your second half!!! It’s awesome to feel like, OOH, running long distance races is FUN!!

    Maybe you’re slowly beginning to like races!
    Ali K. @ Hit the Ground Running recently posted…Running is My SnickersMy Profile

    1. Kristina @ Blog About Running

      I don’t think I will ever love getting up early for a race, but I do think I’m starting to like them a little bit ๐Ÿ™‚

  10. Jodi@ 13.1 Miles to Disney

    It was so great meeting you before the race. Having someone to walk and talk with really calmed my nerves. I ran WAY further than 13.1 b/c of all the zig-zagging and I was so ready to be done with the bridges. lol!
    Jodi@ 13.1 Miles to Disney recently posted…Fateful Friday Week 60My Profile

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